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Michelle Hatfield

Michelle Hatfield Director Of Human Resources And Corporate Responsibility

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Completing a job application form

Some employers prefer job seekers to apply for a job via an application form, as opposed to sending a CV. Application forms are generally very specific to each job and company and are designed for you to show that you have all the requirements for the job for which you are applying.

The application form is your one chance to try and secure an interview!

Hints and tips

  • Read carefully the job description and person specification
  • Read and follow ALL instructions – including using a black ballpoint pen if requested!
  • Note the closing date and give yourself adequate time to complete, review and return the form
  • Ask for help or advice on any areas of the form that you do not understand
  • If possible, photocopy the form and practice on the photocopy first
  • Double check spelling and grammar
  • Ensure the completed form is neat and tidy and not covered in tea stains or ink smudges
  • Details how you meet all the essential criteria set out by the employer
  • Provide examples where possible of your achievements and skills
  • An effective technique to use for answering application form questions is the STAR technique:

                    - Situation           - what was the situation and when did it take place?
                    - Task                    - what was the task? And what was the objective?
                    - Action                - what action did you take?
                    - Results               - what happened as a result of your action?

  • If details of referees are requested, be sure to include all contact information for these referees and ensure that at least one of the referees is your most recent employer.
  • Once completed, review and check that all relevant parts of the form have been completed. If a question or section does not apply to you, insert ‘non applicable’ or ‘N/A’
  • Get someone to check the form over for you before you send it.
  • Do not fold the application form, use the appropriate sized envelope.
  • Remember to take a photocopy of your completed form. You may be asked questions about it in an interview. It can also be used to help you fill in other application forms.

Above all, always tell the truth! If you do not, you may lose your job and any future reference.

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